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EDWARD CARPENTER'S ENGLAND REVISITED

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Abstract:

This article explores the complex ways in which Edward Carpenter deployed the concept of 'England' in his work. It examines his privileging of England over Britain, and reconstructs his attempt to delineate identities within and of Englishness. It argues that Carpenter had sympathy with elements of all three of the main modern analyses of nationality, namely liberal nationalism, post-nationalism and the post-national. In the process it charts the development of Carpenter's ideas from his early liberal patriotism, through his critique of Empire, to his reflections on the First World War and its aftermath. It also notes a number of disturbing elements in his work, including anti-Semitism and a belief in the regenerating function of war.

Keywords: Britain; Edward Carpenter; England; Victorian political thought; nationalism; nationality; postnational; postnationalism; socialism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Politics, Queen's University, Belfast, BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland, Email: v.geoghegan@qub.ac.uk

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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